Putting family, students first

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

From being raised on her family’s farm to helping children learn the joy of reading for more than 20 years, Julie Dalton seeks to prioritize her family and community.

Dalton is a Title I Reading Specialist at Kenbridge Elementary School, a position she’s held for 22 years. She said working with the students and watching them excel has been rewarding. She said she will often look out for books to engage her students.“I have a passion for teaching and learning,” Dalton said. “It is extremely fulfilling to watch others grow and learn. Working with children and seeing them become independent learners and self sufficient individuals is gratifying.”

Her drive to teach has been recognized by the county, having recently been awarded a teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9954 during a banquet celebrating its 69th anniversary.

Dalton considers her parents her first teachers.

“They are hard working Christian folks that put family first,” Dalton said. “I grew up on the family farm learning about growing crops, raising cows and pigs, and experiencing nature firsthand.”

She said her family has had to overcome challenges. She said her father recently suffered a stroke, which has presented new challenges for the family. But she said their sense of unity has helped them carry through.

“They persevered and have overcome many obstacles by focusing on their faith,” Dalton said. “I am thankful for their guidance and love.”

Her husband, Jimmy Ray Dalton, and her two children have also lived in the county. Her son, Colin, is a junior at Hampden-Sydney College and her daughter, MeriAgnes, is a junior at Longwood.

Dalton is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership Endorsement program at Longwood University and aims to have the program completed in August. She received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Longwood. About the Educational Leadership Endorsement program, Dalton said, “I have found this program rewarding as it has helped me better understand the responsibilities and leadership roles of administrators.”

Outside the classroom, Dalton said she enjoys bass fishing, joking it brings out her competitive side, cooking and spending time with friends and family.